NBC revealed today that speculation about its new fashion reality show wasn’t all that speculative. Ben Silverman, who brought us The Biggest Loser and The Office, says the network is moving forward with Fashion Star, a Project Runway-esque show that will try to find the next big designer dying to break out of obscurity.
The show will be hosted by supermodel Elle Macpherson, who in addition to not being Heidi Klum already has a lingerie line of her own. That experience will surely come in handy for when the judges on the show have to evaluate someone’s commercial potential. Because instead of going after contemporary and ready-to-wear wannabes, Fashion Star will focus on people with mass market potential.
“Fashion Star” will introduce would-be designers — not of high-end fashion in the manner of “Project Runway,” but creators of fashion lines that might include bathing suits or lingerie, or surf wear and jeans …
Perhaps the clothes being more relatable will help the show gain viewers. And the half naked models we’re likely to see on the lingerie and swimwear episodes will probably be a ratings boon, too. Silverman pointed out in a Media Decoder interview that “women and men wearing undergarments always seems to do great.” An added benefit (and another revenue stream) is the show’s e-commerce tie-in. At the end of each show, viewers will be able to go online to purchase the garments designed during that episode, even if that garment got its designer sent home. The grand prize is a million-dollar placement in a national retail chain.
The last time we wrote about this show, we commented that success didn’t seem guaranteed — or even likely, given how many shows already on television that seem exactly like this on their surfaces. But maybe we spoke too soon. Silverman seems to be hitting on all the touchpoints that made Project Runway unwatchable for some people: the clothes didn’t make sense, it was entirely focused on women’s design, and the clothes hardly ever ended up at the point of sale. Here’s hoping the show and its characters will be as good as Silverman thinks they will be.
Ben Silverman Sells ‘Fashion Star’ to NBC, Network He Left [Media Decoder]